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IWPC concerned over working conditions in media houses

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 22 : The Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) Friday expressed concern over the way leading media houses "have been either abruptly terminating the contracts of their employees or have shut down operations without any prior notice".

The IWPC also pointed out in a statement how most of the media houses have failed to set up properly constituted committees to prevent sexual harassment at work place as mandated by the law.

It asked the ministry of information and broadcasting and other concerned ministries, like labour, to keep track of the law violations and take action where necessary.

By terminating employees without prior notification has created a lot of "vulnerability and distress in the media, affecting not only the men and women directly employed but their families as well. What used to be isolated incidents has become the norm", it said.

It said employees are no longer given proper appointment letters, leave entitlements and salary slips. Besides, statutory contributions like provident fund are not made.

"There is no social security cover for journalists as well. Several media associations have repeatedly brought these aspects to the government's notice," it said.

While independence and freedom of media are "sacrosanct" and need to be upheld at all times, these developments need to be taken cognizance of with utmost seriousness.

"The government needs to ensure that under the cloak of self-regulation, violations of statutory norms as well as basic labour laws do not take place," it said adding that several media houses do not have properly constituted committees to prevent sexual harassment.

"In some cases, people found indicted by such committees, even where they exist, have been reinstated at higher positions of authority," it said.

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